The following letter has been received by Mr Stunt, of Southerham, from a labouring man who worked on his farm, and left this country for Sydney in May last year, but has since removed to New Zealand : — New Zealand, Dec. 15, 1838. Sir, — I hare taken tbe opportunity of sending the letter by the Coromandel loading with timber here, but expect it will be March before she sails. Sir, we hope please God to find you, friends and relations, in good health as it leaves us perfectly well. Sir, we are in a beautiful climate, which agrees uncommonly well ; more like England than Sydney, little warmer, black soil, clay beneath ; much before Sydney to my thinking, which you may see in the natives. The natives here are stronglooking people, brown coloured, and the natives at Sydney are black, thin, hagged people. We have plenty of hogs wild, the natives catch them with, dogs ; you may have a large hog for a blanket or a little tobacco, but we have every thing of our masters the first year. Pork 4d. per pound, flour 4d., sugar 6d., tea 35., potatoes 2s. 100 lbs. Goose* berries we gather wild like nettles; the gooseberries grow in shucks as filberts they are something like a green cherry ; we have peaches, oranges, melons, lemons, onions, cabbage, all good. If please God we live another year, we shall go on in a different way. We got land set out for us to sow wheat to keep us, and I shall be for breeding'my own hogs. Our masters got hogs in 'abundance, and goats, ducks, geese, fowls, cows, a bull, two or three horses. We have not yet got our houses built, they are almost cut out and begun to build, so will soon be up. Mary does not like the cottage we are in, we are so thick, three families. I think we shall have a very comfortable house; my mate one end, we the other. There is no fear of having to buy fire wood, there' is plenty close «o our house. We cut board for ourselves, fell what we like of any sort there is: we made each a table of pine, and I begun a chair, but I got many jobs ; the saw- pit we work in is 31 feet long ; some timber is six feet deep, and it seem; a pity to burn such good timber as we burn down, counted as worth nothing. Flo. 3rd. — We are about 20 miles up the river. The next place to us is Wymath, 12 miles, in cultivation^ beautiful for com and flocks of sheep belonging to the church missionaries; there are Wesleyans* The next place, the Bay of Islands, is a very drunkea blackguard place, 30 miles from. us. There is no place in tlie world scarce with such timber for masts for ships and other things as here. Our master by the Caromandel will clear, by all we can find out, 7,000/. or 8,000/. j the whole value I am told is 24,000/. or 25,000/., and they have it cut up for almost nothing ; but they begin to get more awake. They will saw no more for their 4s. a week ; they work in this way 3or 4 pair, so keep a European to sharp and line and look after them. Fob. 10th. — The Captain died last week, and was buried in the chape) yard. I intend sending not one word wrong if I know it: many would not like the country, as there would be not company enough for them except natives, and no liquor of any kind to bo got at Hukianga but seldom. The only thing that seems venomous is the lizard. Many of them aro about the trees, and you know they are harmless enough. Thewintersarecoldandrainy, but little frost and no snow. I have a beautiful place my end for a garden, the weather and sun coming in front all open. I began to make a hedge, the first ever made, I suppose, in New Zealand, and am . going to sow some turnips and plant beans. In this country almost any time will do. By the next time 1 send I shall be able to tell you a little better about what chance there is here when I have 1 seen more about it. A person came from England with us by the name of Josh- England, and is living with missionaries at Wymath, gets 12s. a week, provisions for self, wife, three children, good house free, water, wood brought by the natives to his door, only as servant out doors to job about the stores. He is a shoemaker by trade. t&M So no more at present from your humble servant, C. SHAW.
* Since the above was in type we have met with the following passage, from a letter printed in tbe Colonial Gazette, dated Matukaraka (on the Hokianga River) New Zealand, lOtlj, March, 1839, which abuadantly illustrates what we have above set down. , . "The missionaries are engrossing the greater' part of the good land ; and whatever may be their estimation at home, I can safely say that here they show such, a grasping disposition to enrich themselves, and so little interest in the welfare of either the white man or native, that they stand exceedingly low with me. At one missionary station there are not less than 600 acres of land under cultivation of wheat ; .and the sons of these, missionaries assume as much consequence as your St James's aristocrats. I hare no patience -with them, and am only surprised that their bountiful subscriptions, at home should continue. In this river we have only Wesleyau missionaries, who certainly are not ao w.orldly, nor will their means admit of tbe splendour and pomp of their contemporaries the Church Mission ; but) amongst these, there is great room for improvements, and, it has been a matter of surprise to me that the Society at home have not made a point. of sending some liberal and wellinformed men as ministers. Tlie very reverse is the case. Our Catholic bishop, as far as example goes, is showing: them the way to make converts both amongst Europeans and natives. He has not been here more than eighteen months ; and I am, sure that upwards of two.thirds of the white population attend him, and very many natives."
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EMIGRATION., New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue I, 6 September 1839
EMIGRATION. New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume I, Issue I, 6 September 1839
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